In his first professional game, you wouldn't know Cody Dent batted under .200 in his college career.
The former Florida Gator went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk and two runs scored, as the Auburn Doubledays beat the Batavia Muckdogs 7-3 in the season opener at Falcon Park Monday.
Dent, a Washington Nationals 22nd-rounder, gave the credit to the coaching staff.
"When I got here, the coaches tweaked a couple things I had been doing wrong and I've just been working on staying up the middle," Dent said. "It worked tonight."
First Game Jitters
Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said most of his players were probably glad to get the first game out of the way.
Auburn loaded the bases multiple times, but didn't get the big hits to drive in multiple runs. Instead, the Doubledays had to be opportunistic on the Muckdogs' five errors and multiple wild pitches.
But as the game went on, Cathcart did see progress in the batter's box.
"I did like our approach a little bit better the second half of the game," Cathcart said. "I thought we made too many quick outs early in the ballgame."
With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the fifth inning, Doubledays designated hitter Bryan Lippincott watched as the next pitch flew by.
After being called out on strikes, he turned to the umpire, appeared to say something, and was immediately ejected. Lippincott looked shocked at the quick turn of events.
"He's not a kid to get ejected," Cathcart said. "He's a great kid, he was almost embarrassed by it."
Cathcart chalked it up as another learning experience for his team.
"He didn't understand that you can talk to the umpire, but you can't make a gesture," Cathcart said. "I guess he drew a line in the dirt with his foot."
"He understands now," Cathcart added. "It's one of the things we'll talk to the whole group about. There's going to be a lot of that stuff every night that they need to learn."